Bristol HiFi Show 2023 Report

For everything else..... try not to spill your drinks OK?
Post Reply
Claus
Posts: 773
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:48 pm

Bristol HiFi Show 2023 Report

Post by Claus »

A sound trip

This year’s Bristol HiFi Show was held in the Delta Hotels Marriott in Bristol city center. It was organised by the british dealer Audio T and the focus was on products available in their shops.

We arrived on Saturday around lunch time straight from our Ryanair flight ready to sample some tunes. The show was several times bigger than any show I have attended in Ireland. The hotel had 4 floors plus lobbies and ground floor conference rooms hosting exhibits. I won’t be able to write something meaningful about every single room and setup as there were way too many to remember. But here are a few that stood out.

Raidho (Decent Audio)
The diminutive X1t were playing and the sound was night and day different to the Bowers & Wilkins room we had just left. Lovely soundstage and incredible detail in a very suboptimal room. Pity about the price.

Wilson Benesch
The top range 3zero speakers along with an infrasound subwoofer were presented in a 100k plus system in a lovely large room (the size of the entire ground floor in an average Irish house). As with many other exhibits, vinyl was the preferred source and it sounded absolutely brilliant. Very lifelike saxophone reproduction.

Lyngdorf
Lyngdorf presented a minimalistic system with their top tier passive Cue-100 speakers sporting the much hyped Purify drivers powered by the 200W TDAI-3400 streaming amplifier demonstrating the RoomPerfect capabilities. This was thankfully BS-free on/off demo of what the calibration could do in a typical hotel room stripped of furniture. The result was really impressive. Speakers and the entire system is incredibly wife friendly - the price, not so much.

Hegel
Hegel demoed their H120 integrated amplifier on a set of Amphion Argon 1 loudspeakers. They played across the room as opposed to the more traditional down the room format and the sound was very pleasant and punched above its weight with regards to value for money.

Fyne
Fyne brought their impressive flagship Vintage Fifteen speakers (30k) which we agreed should come with their own scottish mansion! Not a real life option for most of us and the speakers did overpower the room a bit, producing very poor bass. Otherwise they sounded great in my short listen and the fit and finish was impressive.

Audio Note
Audio Note featured a full Level 3 system with too many components to mention here. The system was around 50k and was in our opinion the best sound of the show. No earth shaking bass from the corner placed ANJ/SPe speakers. No insane cable loom worth more than a small car. Just a natural sounding system with amazing resolution and dynamics. It was demoed by Peter Qvortrup’s son Daniel who cued up some brilliant eclectic music choices free from “test track plinky plonk” and Dire Straits. What a relief. “Work Work” by clipping. and “Roadbull” by Melvins both sounded terrific and will leave a few audiophiles fine combing their household budgets.

Focal, PMC and Proac were also heavily featured in some of the bigger rooms. The sound from these all showed great potential but were mared by the usual "show sound" of too much brightness or just lack of cohesion in the surroundings they were playing in. The sound was generally very average with some rooms sounding terrible as is to be expected for these types of shows. The tip is to try and get a seat in the front row where the room impact potentially is minimal.

In retrospect I am annoyed that I didn't give more time to try out some headphones as it would have been an ideal opportunity to sample a decent selection in one spot.

Generally it was a well organised show and although busy it was never impossible to get a listen to a system after waiting a few minutes for spaces to clear.

It was a pleasure to meet up with Tarun of A British Audiophile Youtube Channel and we had a great night of food, beer and HiFi banter after doors closed Saturday night.

The highlight of the show was definitely the craic as opposed to the audiophile experience. Too many rooms sounded very average or at least showed great but largely unfulfilled potential. The social experience on the other hand was really great. Everyone was open and friendly, willing to explain and discuss the products. Hopefully we will see a show back in Dublin before too long but in the meantime a trip to the UK or Munich is very doable and a guaranteed worthwhile trip.

Photos (not mine) available here:

https://www.hifipig.com/bristol-hifi-sh ... w-report/
Last edited by Claus on Tue Mar 14, 2023 5:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Ivor
Posts: 4172
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:21 pm

Re: Bristol HiFi Show 2023 Report

Post by Ivor »

Nice report Claus, almost as good as being there! I have to say I would have enjoyed the meal and chat with Tarun most of all (a reviewer I take seriously) but HiFi meet ups are all about the craic and the security of knowing there are so many more eejits in the world.

Some interesting toys on sale there...
Vinyl -anything else is data storage.

Thorens TD124 Mk1 + Kuzma Stogi 12"arm, HANA Red, Gold Note PH 10 + PSU. ADI-2 Dac, Lector CDP7, Wyred4Sound pre, Airtight ATM1s, Klipsch Heresy IV, Misc Mains, RCA + XLR ICs, Tellurium Q spkr cable
User avatar
Fran
Site Admin
Posts: 4111
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:03 pm

Re: Bristol HiFi Show 2023 Report

Post by Fran »

Great write up Claus - seems like it was a very enjoyable show and one to watch for the future. For those who might be streaming, the hifipig playlist on Qobuz from the show is well worth a listen, Some good stuff on it.

Was there many stands there selling vinyl, accessories etc?

Reading that certainly whets the appetite for Munich!!
Do or do not, there is no try
User avatar
Ivor
Posts: 4172
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:21 pm

Re: Bristol HiFi Show 2023 Report

Post by Ivor »

Fran wrote: Wed Mar 15, 2023 9:56 pm Was there many stands there selling vinyl, accessories etc?
Claus was telling me before that a lot of the stands were playing vinyl only. Proper order too ;)
Vinyl -anything else is data storage.

Thorens TD124 Mk1 + Kuzma Stogi 12"arm, HANA Red, Gold Note PH 10 + PSU. ADI-2 Dac, Lector CDP7, Wyred4Sound pre, Airtight ATM1s, Klipsch Heresy IV, Misc Mains, RCA + XLR ICs, Tellurium Q spkr cable
Claus
Posts: 773
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:48 pm

Re: Bristol HiFi Show 2023 Report

Post by Claus »

Fran, Yes a lot of vinyl played but not many stands selling. Prices were steep enough and as I had no luggage, I refrained from even looking ….
Thanks for the HIFIpig tip. Will check it out.
User avatar
Derek
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Bristol HiFi Show 2023 Report

Post by Derek »

Nice one Claus, great to see these shows so well attended. I followed up your post with a look at some of the video clips online. Interesting to see the style development some manufacturers have brought to the marketplace while others are keeping with the tried and tested.
There's a Youtube clip of the Oslo Hi-Fi Show online that's also worth a look.
NigeAmp, NigeSD DAC, Airtight ATM-4, Ruark Accolades, Pink Triangle TT, Roksan Artimiz, Clearaudio Discovery, Tom Evans Microgroove Plus, Fran DAC, Dalkey Audio Interconnects.
Post Reply